Birmingham & Black Country

Teen charged with Wolverhampton rape and murder

Viktorija Sokolova Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Viktorija Sokolova was found in a park on Thursday

A teenager charged with the murder of a 14-year-old girl has also been charged with her rape.

Viktorija Sokolova, who was born in Lithuania, was discovered in West Park, Wolverhampton, on Thursday - a day after she had been reported missing.

The accused, a 16-year-old boy from Wolverhampton, appeared on Monday before Dudley Magistrates Court where he was remanded in custody.

A 17-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of murder has been bailed.

A post-mortem examination concluded Miss Sokolova died from blunt force trauma to her head.

Her family described her as "a little angel" who made their lives "so colourful and full of meaning".

'Aspiring dancer'

The additional charge of rape was announced by the West Midlands force on Sunday evening.

The accused was remanded into secure youth detention accommodation until a further hearing set for Wolverhampton Crown Court on Tuesday.

Image caption West Park was sealed-off over the weekend while forensic investigations took place

Jamie Morgan, acting principal of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary Academy and Nursery, where Miss Sokolova attended until 2015, said: "She was a joy to teach; a hard-working, well-liked, lovely girl whose positive and fun personality was infectious.

"We recall her having a passion for dancing - she was an active member of the school dance club and positively contributed to a number of school performances. Her comment in her primary leavers' book was that she aspired to become a dancer."

West Park remains closed for police investigations.

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